Nine Tips for Major-Gift Solicitors
"Absolutely! … I would like to tell you about the organization and have you join me as a supporter this year … but just as important, we would like to get your input on additional ways we can succeed in our efforts on behalf of this great program, which is doing such amazing things."
Make it clear that you will be asking for support.
5. Engage the prospect
Do not try to close too quickly. Share the vision, services, benefits, points of pride and needs of the organization. While informing the prospect of the needs, you also are demonstrating the commitment of leadership. Donors want to be confident that they are giving to organizations with knowledgeable and committed leaders. Enthusiasm is contagious, and so is negativity. It's your choice.
6. The meeting
Take a few minutes to break the ice and to establish a comfortable environment. Introduce yourself and those with you through your involvement and commitment to the organization and the services it provides. In a concise manner, share with the prospect the value of the organization and what it has accomplished. Refer to the points of pride; emphasize the opportunities for the future based on the new vision and strategic plan for expansion or further development of the organization. Discuss the importance of their participation in addition to their financial support. Your organization needs their advice, expertise, identification of new leadership and introduction to other prospective donors. Once you have shared your enthusiasm about the project and demonstrated the needs, it's time to request the gift.
Using the number that was agreed upon during the rating session, (see item No. 1) the ask can be introduced as follows: "We would appreciate if you would consider a gift of $ _____ to the campaign." (If there are significant projects or programs that need to be funded at the level of the request, mention the one or two that you think would appeal to the prospective donor.) PAUSE: Once you have asked for the gift, be silent and let the prospect respond with questions or other comments. There is no need ever to apologize for asking for a gift. The individuals you are approaching expect you to ask, have likely been asked before by many organizations and have, at times, been solicitors themselves.